Watch Dogs' Dystopian Game World Springs to Life in Thrilling Short Film

From Into the Spider-Verse animator Alberto Mielgo

High-tech, militarized police pursue dissidents through graffiti-smeared streets as an authoritarian nightmare unfolds.

We're not talking about the protests in Portland, Oregon. Rather, Ubisoft plunges us into a post-Brexit, near-future London beset by chaos in this gritty, cinematic trailer for Ubisoft's Watch Dogs: Legion game.

Unsettling current events imbue the film with extra power. Sure, it's just a video-game-inspired slice of dystopian fiction. But for how long?

Channeling elements of Martin Niemöller's World War II-era poem that begins "First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out," the piece fuses politics and gameplay with thrilling visual style:

Watch Dogs: Legion - Tipping Point Cinematic Trailer

DDB Paris collaborated with director Alberto Mielgo (best known as the original animator on Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and for his episode "The Witness" from Netflix's Love, Death and Robots animated series) to create a CGI assault on the senses that bristles with urban unrest and existential angst. The spot's last line, "Reclaim your future," urges folks to wise up, open their eyes and battle oppression before it's too late. Lest "they" come for you some day. (And maybe not just in a video game.) 

With more than 2 million YouTube news in two weeks, the approach is clearly striking a chord with viewers who see aspects of the game's unsettling vision play out with sad frequency across their daily lives. 

Watch Dogs: Legion drops on Oct. 29, and the film runs for the next few weeks on worldwide TV, social media and EMEA cinema.

Achieved entirely through animation, without any motion capture, the project took over six months to complete, with 70 professionals working on various aspects of the film.

In this making-of clip, Mielgo explains why he used a London taxi driver and vintage black cab to symbolize the power of the human spirit to subvert technological tyranny:

Watch Dogs: Legion - Tipping Point Making-Of
CREDITS

Agency: DDB Paris
Chief Creative Officer: Alexander Kalchev
Head of Copy & Copywriter: Patrice Dumas
Agency Producer: Quentin Moenne Loccoz
Account Team: Nicolas Carlotti, Marie-Elise Archambaud, Quentin Grimal

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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